A 16.5 metre-high giant rubber duck created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman is towed along Hong Kong’s Victoria Habour today. Since 2007, the rubber duck has traveled to various cites including Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paulo and Amsterdam. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
HERE ARE THE things you need to know as we round off the day in three easy steps.
THINGS WE LEARNED
#ABORTION: No decision has been taken by Fianna Fáil as to whether they will support or oppose the government’s proposed abortion legislation. The news followed a four-and-a-half hour meeting today, during which each member of the parliamentary party was given an opportunity to express their views on the newly-published heads of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013. Separately, it has been confirmed that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, who is tasked with writing a report on proposed abortion legislation, will only hear from “professional experts”.
#MORTGAGES: Thousands of tracker mortgage holders have been handed some relief today, with the European Central Bank cutting its main interest rates by 0.25 per cent. The decision was taken in light of falling inflation rates throughout the eurozone, which last month stood at 1.2 per cent, its lowest in over three years.
#SHOOTING: A number of shots were fired at developer and former Fianna Fáil election candidate Ger Killally this morning. The incident occurred as Killally, who is in his 40s, was leaving his home. The developer’s two young sons, along with his father, were in his car at the time of the shooting. The silver Volkswagen Passat in which they were travelling collided with a ditch following the shooting and overturned.
#EXCHEQUER RETURNS: The Local Property Tax added €21 million to the Exchequer’s pot last month, according to figures released by the Department of Finance this afternoon. Total tax revenues were up to €2.1 billion for April, a €51 million increase on the same month last year. It also marked a €145 million year-on-year jump. The “big four” tax heads fell short of expectations, however.
#TAPE: RTÉ has confirmed that it has handed over to gardaí a tape of an interview with a former Waterford sports coach, who is suspected of having abused as many as 30 boys. The State broadcaster aired portions of an interview with the man last week following a report in the Irish Times which said that two men had come forward with allegations they were abused by the unidentified man in the 1980s when they were teenagers
#KEN BARLOW: Coronation Street star Bill Roache has denied allegations of raping a 15-year-old girl in the 1960s and says he will fight the claims. The actor, who plays long-running character Ken Barlow, said he was “astounded and deeply horrified” by the events of the past 24 hours.
THINGS WE LOVED
- Mixed-media artist Scott Hove debuted his “Guns & Ecstasy” body of work in San Francisco today. Presenting weapons decorated like extravagant birthday cakes, he hopes to highlight the tension between the violent and tantalizing aspects of the weaponry. To see the pictures, click here.
- Willie Clancy week has been held in Milltown Malbay in Co Clare each year since 1973. In this video, Donal Dineen and Myles O’Reilly talk to those inspired by the piper and his music.
- The White House + GIFS = this tumblr blog.
THINGS WE SHARED
- New Statesman spoke to a soldier suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) about his life. A sobering read.
- The video promo for the new play by the Druid Theatre Company has their collective-tongues firmly lodged in their cheeks. Check out their video below:
(Druid Theatre, Galway/YouTube)